Friday, February 02, 2007

My Funny Valentine

These are the reviews
(and other assignments)
I'm working on this month.

Amazon CDs: Belinda Carlisle - Voilà (Go-Go's front woman takes on the chanson), Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch (Lerche goes power-pop), Fall Out Boy - In-
finity on High
, Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel as School Children
(dig that Supertramp sample), Hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, and Matt Wertz - Everything in Between.

Amazon DVDs: The Cuban Masterworks Collection (Viva La Revolución!) [five-disc set], Beauty and the Beast - The First Season [six-disc set] [Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman], The Rockford Files - Season Three [five-disc set] (click here for sea.
two review), Family Ties - The Complete First Season [four-disc
, The Silence of the Lambs - Two-Disc Collector's Edition [ex-
tras only]
, Le Petit Lieutenant [click here for Siffblog review], Crossover (Anthony Mackie plays street ball), and My Country, My Country (Oscar-nominated doc about the Iraq occupation).

Amazon Theatricals: God Grew Tired of Us (doc about the
Lost Boys of Sudan), The Lives of Others (Oscar nominee for best
foreign-language film), Bridge to Terabithia (fine family film), and
Amazing Grace
(Michael Apted on Britain's abolition movement).

Resonance: "Songs Destroyed by David
Lynch," sidebar to my interview with the man.

Siffblog: An interview with Robinson Devor and a re-
vamped version of a 2005 interview with Gregg Araki.

Endnote: When I think about Valentine's Day, I think about "My Funny Valentine." When I think about "My Funny Valentine," I think about Chet Baker. Sometimes I think about Elvis Costello, but even he would probably admit that Baker's version is superior.

Personally, I find the lyrics off putting, i.e. I love you despite your
physical imperfections. Why go there? We're all imperfect. I feel
the same way about Shakespeare's "My Mistress' Eyes Are Noth-
ing Like the Sun,"
which seems to have served as inspiration. Bak-
er renders the point moot. He could hum the song and it would be
just as effective. It's the melody more than the words. Give him a
chance, he'll break your heart. Image from the All Music Guide.


ratzkywatzky said...

The lyrics to My Funny Valentine aren't quite so egregious when you consider it is meant to be sung by a woman to a man. It's from Babes in Arms, and if you imagine Judy singing it to Mickey, instead of Declan McManus singing it to Cait O'Riordan it's much more charming. I know I'd be in heaven if Anita O'Day were singing it to me. "Is your figure less than Greek?" Well, the Greek ideal figure had little to do with women. Maybe Anthony or Morrissey should take a crack at it. And who's Elvis calling "less than Greek" anyway? Chet might be able to get away with that, but Elvis? Or scrawny l'il Frank Sinatra?

kathy fennessy said...

Your point is well taken, but I still feel, "Why go there?" It's like saying something nice and then adding, "But..." It reminds me of those otherwise eloquent people who can never say anything completely positive. But sometimes it's the nicest thing you can do for another person: Give them a cookie, to mangle Burt Lancaster's famous phrase, that's completely devoid of arsenic. That said, Mickey Rooney always was a little funny looking...

ratzkywatzky said...

Not to get all Mars and Venus on you, but men, even insecure ones, hear comments about their physical attributes (or lack thereof) differently than women. When Anita O'Day assures me that my mouth is a little weak, I go, "Okay, she's noticed it, and she doesn't mind! That's a relief!" And the song also helps explain to an audience exactly why Judy is with Mickey, because, you know, everyone is wondering.
I've also just realized that Anthony and Morrissey are two more people who had better not be telling another person that their figure is less than Greek. Anyway, Morrissey would probably be singing, "Is my figure less than Greek? No, tell me, is it? When I open my mouth to speak, am I smart? But should I stay anyway? I know you don't want me to, but I promise to be funny, or at least try."

kathy fennessy said...

I see what you're saying, but I'm not looking at the song in terms of gender, and nor are my feelings about it tied to the original source material. I'm just talking about "My Funny Valentine" in a general sense. What can I say? I've never liked it, and I never will. But Mr. Baker just about convinces me.